FDLR chief Mbarushimana took part in genocide: survivors

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The arrest in France of a Rwandan Hutu rebel leader on suspicion of crimes committed in 2009 in the DR Congo should not mean his role in the 1994 Tutsi genocide is forgotten, survivors said Wednesday.

Callixte Mbarushimana, executive secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), was arrested Monday in Paris on a warrant from the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

"His arrest in itself is good news, but it shouldn't mask his role in the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994," Theodore Simburudali, the head of Ibuka, the genocide survivors' association, told AFP.

Simburudali said Mbarushimana "distinguished himself in the massacre of Tutsis" at several roadblocks in the capital Kigali and "ordered the massacre" of several Tutsi colleagues who "worked with him at the UN development agency, UNDP".

"He used UNDP equipment to track down Tutsis," he charged.

Simburudali said Mbarushimana should first have been tried for genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha in northern Tanzania.

Mbarushimana is not on the list of genocide suspects sought by the ICTR even if the tribunal has in the past investigated his alleged participation in the genocide.

Based in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the FDLR, some of whom, took part in the Rwandan 1994 genocide, are considered a major source of insecurity in the region.

© 2010 AFP

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